Jump to content


From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fagin is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens for his book Oliver Twist. Fagin is based on Ikey Solomon.

Role in the Book[change | change source]

When Oliver Twist runs away, The Artful Dodger tells him that he knows someone who won’t make him pay any money because Dodger knows him. The person turns out to be a Jew named Fagin who is a greedy person. Fagin teaches the kids to steal but Oliver doesn’t know this until he sees The Artful Dodger and Charley Bates steal and then run away. Fagin beats up The Artful Dodger since he’s afraid that Oliver will tell the police about him.

Fagin then sends his sidekick Bill Sikes and Bill’s prostitute girlfriend Nancy to kidnap Oliver. Fagin tries to beat up Oliver but Nancy stops him. Fagin tells Oliver that if he tells the police about Fagin’s crimes then Fagin will have him killed.

It later turns out that a man named Monks hired Fagin to make Oliver a thief before Oliver turns twelve but not kill him so after Oliver escapes, Fagin plans to kidnap him. When Fagin finds out from a child spy named Noah Claypole that Nancy wants to rescue Oliver, Fagin tricks Sikes into thinking Nancy has talked to the police about him so Sikes gets angry and kills her.

When Monks finds out about the murder, he panics and tells the police everything so they arrest Fagin. When Oliver visits Fagin in jail, Fagin is scared and begs Oliver to help him escape. Fagin is later hanged.

Allegations of Anti-Semitism[change | change source]

Because Fagin is Jewish and a villain, Charles Dickens was sometimes said to be Anti-Semitic. Dickens said that he only made Fagin Jewish because Ikey Solomon was Jewish and he felt guilty enough about Fagin that he later wrote another book called Our Mutual Friend with a Jewish character called Ridah who is a good guy and complains about Anti-Semitism.